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That's what I mean. Listen to what Mark said NYM. Ok, you talked about Babe Ruth. Anything else you want to add?? How about this? We all know Ruth hit 60 homers in 1927. Well, look at that figure

Pete Browning "The Gladiator" An illiterate deaf alcoholic, Browning's .341 is the 13th highest career batting average in Major League history. This was the man after whom the 'Louisville Slugger

Sadaharu Oh   From wikipedia:   Sadaharu Oh was a professional baseball player and manager. He is one of Japan's most revered sports heroes, although he has never had Japanese citi

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Hugh Mulcahy

 

Hugh Mulcahy's nine year major league career record for the Phillies and Pirates was 45-89 with an ERA of 4.49. You may ask why he is being featured in this thread. Well, it's because Mulcahy has probably one of the most funniest nicknames in all of baseball. Mulcahy's nickname was Losing Pitcher Mulcahy.

 

Now how did this come about?

 

It seemed that every time Mulcahy pitched he would be the losing pitcher in the game and when the PA announcer would give the totals for the just-completed game, he would say "Winning Pitcher, So-and-so" and "Losing Pitcher, Mulcahy." The sportswriters heard "Losing Pitcher, Mulcahy" so many times that they started calling Mulcahy Losing Pitcher Mulcahy. :lol:

 

Mulcahy is also the answer to the trivia question of being the first major league regular to be drafted in World War II.

 

 

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Walter "Boom Boom" Beck

 

Ok, just one more story about another player with another funny nickname. Walter Beck was also a right handed pitcher and like Hugh Mulcahy, was an unsuccessful one because of the teams he was on.

 

He played from 1924 to 1945 for the Browns, Dodgers, Phillies, Tigers, Reds and Pirates and had a career won-loss record of 38-69 with a 4.30 ERA.

 

When Beck was with the Dodgers he was on the mound facing the Phils in Philadelphia at the Baker Bowl. He was getting shelled. Anything he threw the Phils were killing it. BOOM! They'd hit the ball and then BOOM! it would be hit off the wall. Before long they started calling him Boom Boom Beck. The first boom was when the bat hit the ball. The second boom was when the ball hit off the wall. :lol:

 

You got to admit they had some good nicknames back then!

 

One final tidbit about this. After awhile Dodger manager Casey Stengel came out to the mound let Beck know that his services were no longer required for the rest of the afternoon. While this mound conference was going on, Dodger right fielder Hack Wilson had his hands on his knees and his head to the ground because he was trying to catch his breath from all the running he was doing. Seems as if Wilson had a rough night the night before and drank a little bit more than he should have so he was in fact nursing a hangover.

 

Well, when Stengel informed Beck that he was out of the game, Beck was furious. He turned around and threw the ball out to right field and it hit the right field wall. Another BOOM! Wilson, hearing this, turned and ran after the ball and threw a perfect strike to second base. Stengel later said it was the best throw he made all year.

 

 

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For some reason, baseball today doesn't seem to have the same fire, the charisma, that the old players had. If a player did even half the things they did back then today, he'd be fined so much that he'd be on less than minimum salary. He'd be on double-A wages. :lol:

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Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown

Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown (October 19, 1876 – February 14, 1948), nicknamed "Three Finger" or "Miner", was an American Major League Baseball pitcher at the turn of the 20th century. Due to a farm-machinery accident in his youth, Brown lost parts of two fingers on his right hand and eventually acquired his nickname as a result. Overcoming this handicap and turning it to his advantage, he became one of the elite pitchers of his era.

 

After a spectacular minor league career commencing in Terre Haute of the Three-I League in 1901, Brown came to the majors rather late, at age 26, in 1903, and lasted until 1916 when he was close to 40.

 

Brown's most productive period was when he played for the Chicago Cubs from 1904 until 1912. During this stretch, he won 20 or more games six times and was part of two World Series championships. New York Giants manager John McGraw regarded his own Christy Mathewson and Brown as the two best pitchers in the National League. In fact, Brown often defeated Mathewson in competition, most significantly in the final regular season game of the 1908 season. Brown had a slim career 13-11 edge on Mathewson, with one no-decision in their 25 classic pitching matchups.

 

Brown was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.

 

 

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Joe Medwick

 

Joe Medwick's reputation as a bad-ball hitter who slashed doubles to all fields got him into the Hall of Fame, but he is most often remembered for his unusual removal from Game Seven of the 1934 World Series. With the Cardinals winning a blowout in Detroit, he slid hard into Tiger third baseman Marv Owen on his sixth-inning triple, even though the throw hadn't come in yet. When Medwick went out to left field with the score 9-0, Detroit fans threw bottles, food, and garbage at him. Commissioner Landis, in attendance as always at the Series game, ordered Medwick from the field for his own safety so the game could be resumed, and Chick Fullis replaced him in left field. Medwick hit .379 with five RBI for the Series, including four hits, one a HR, in the opener.

 

Medwick came up in September 1932 and hit .349 to win the job. He hit .300 his first 11 seasons, and won the NL's last Triple Crown in 1937 with career highs of 31 HR, 154 RBI, and a .374 BA. He was NL MVP that year, also leading in slugging, runs, and doubles. For three straight years, 1936-38, he led the NL in both RBI and doubles. He drove in at least 100 runners six straight seasons (1934-39), scored 100 runs six times, including five consecutive years (1934-38), hit 40 doubles seven straight years (1933-39), and had seven seasons of 10 or more triples.

 

His prime seasons came with the Cardinals. After dropping off slightly in 1939, he was sold to the Dodgers in mid-1940 for the then-astronomical sum of 125,000. He helped Brooklyn to their first pennant in over 20 years in 1941 with his last great season, but suffered a life-threatening beaning by former teammate Bob Bowman after quarreling with him in an elevator; Larry MacPhail thought it was an attempt by St. Louis to ruin Medwick. Within twenty four hours of the beaning MacPhail had Brooklyn's District Attorney conduct a criminal investigation. In it, MacPhail demanded that the DA go after "Beanball Inc" which he described as a conspiracy among National League pitchers to kill off the Dodgers' pennant chances by eliminating their leading players.

 

During a USO tour by a number of players in 1944, Medwick was among several individuals given an audience by Pope Pius XII. Upon being asked by the Pope what his vocation was, Medwick replied, "Your Holiness, I'm Joe Medwick. I, too, used to be a Cardinal."

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968. Medwick died of a heart attack in St. Petersburg, Florida at age 63 in 1975.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Bobby Thomson


Bobby Thomson hit what is perhaps the most famous home run in baseball history. His dramatic "shot heard 'round the world" on October 3, 1951, a three-run, ninth-inning homer off Brooklyn pitcher Ralph Branca, capped the Giants' historic comeback to win the NL pennant. Thomson also hit a sixth-inning homer off Branca in the opening game of the playoffs, which erased a 1-0 Dodger lead.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the Staten Island Scot hit 24 or more homers six times in his seven full seasons with the Giants. A key to the 1951 pennant was Thomson's switch to third base, allowing Willie Mays to take over centerfield. Following the 1953 season, Thomson was sent to the Milwaukee Braves in a trade that brought future 20-game winner Johnny Antonelli to the Giants. Thomson broke his ankle in spring training with the Braves in 1954, and that injury kept Hank Aaron from being sent to the minors. Later that year, when Thomson was in the lineup, Aaron pinch ran for him and broke his ankle.

A nice , likable guy, known as a good low-ball hitter, Thomson had a comeback season for the Cubs in 1958, when he hit 21 homers and collected 82 RBI while batting .283. In 1969, Thomson was named to the Giants' all-time outfield along with Mel Ott and Willie Mays.

 

 

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  • 8 months later...

Arlas Taylor

Never heard of him? Perfectly understandable. In fact, probably the only people who know of Arlas Taylor today are his relatives from Warrick County, Indiana where he was born in 1896. This young lefthanded pitcher had a very, very brief career in the major leagues - one game, and that was for the 1921 Philadelphia Athletics, a team that would go on to finish in last place with a 53-100 record.

 

As I stated, Taylor was in one game for Connie Mack's Athletics that year. A game that he started and only lasted two innings against the World Champion Cleveland Indians. Here is his line for the two innings he pitched:

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As you can see for yourself, he gave up 7 hits in 2 innings, 5 runs, all earned and so on and so on. But look closely. He struck out one player and this is the reason why I made this post. The one player that this young 25 year old lefty struck out was a player named Joe Sewell, who just happens to be the hardest player in the entire history of the game to strike out. How hard? Sewell averaged one strikeout every 63 at bats and also has the distinction of going 115 games without striking out, another major league record. To me, this little known record is as unbeatable as Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak. In his entire career Sewell only struck out 114 times in 7,132 at bats. Imagine that. Guys like Adam Dunn can do that before the All Star break.

 

And yet this obscure pitcher, lost in the baseball record books, managed to strike Sewell out during his one and only major league game. This just goes to show that an appearance by any ballplayer over the years, no matter how minuscule it may appear, means something. There's a lot of Arlas Taylor's in the baseball record book. I was just lucky enough to find one of them.

 

Joe Sewell of the Indians. Sewell came to the Indians as a replacement for Ray Chapman in 1920. Chapman died from a pitch by New York's Carl Mays. Sewell went on to have a .312 career batting average and made the Hall of Fame in 1977.

 

 

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I too just found this thread,I'm usually busy doing mods and other stuff and never really took the time and check the site out but im getting ready to format my comp because of probs with a windows update it cause some of my programs like tys editor and other needed programs to quit working and thought id take a break before i start the process.I started watching baseball in 1970 in school because the pirates and reds where in the playoffs and our teacher didnt wanna miss the game lol.Right away 2 players stood out and that was roberto clemente and willie stargell.I wanted to meet clemente but i didnt get to see my first game until after clemente died.However i did get to see my other hero willie stargell during a photo day in which we could meet pirates and padres players on 3 rivers stadium field.And willie didnt disapoint.He loved his fans and loved kids and was always smiling.Ive seen players like ollie brown who was rude and threatened autograph seeking kids that hed punch them if they didnt get out of his way when he played for the phillies.But stargell respected fans as much as they respected him.One thing ill never forget is

willies pump before hed hit a ball and when hed hit a home run old bob prince would yell "chicken on the hill" or "kiss it goodbye"

 

Wilver Dornell "Willie" Stargell (March 6, 1940 – April 9, 2001), nicknamed "Pops" in the later years of his career, was a Major League Baseball left fielder and first baseman. He played his entire 21-year baseball career (1962-1982) with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over his 21-year career with the Pirates, he batted .282, with 2,232 hits, 423 doubles, 475 home runs and 1540 runs batted in, helping his team capture six National League East division titles, two National League pennants and two World Series (1971, 1979).

 

Career

Stargell was born in Earlsboro, Oklahoma, but later moved to Alameda, California where he attended Encinal High School. He was signed by the Pirates at age 22, and made his Major League debut at the end of the 1962 season. He soon became a standout player, making his first of 7 trips to the All-Star Game in 1964.

 

Beloved in Pittsburgh for his style of play and affable manner, Stargell was known for hitting monstrous home runs, including 7 of the 16 balls ever hit completely out of Forbes Field and several of the upper-tier home runs at its successor, Three Rivers Stadium. At one time, Stargell held the record for the longest homer in nearly half of the National League parks. Standing 6 feet 2 inches, Stargell seemed larger, with his long arms and unique bat-handling practice of holding only the knob of the bat with his lower hand combining to provide extra bat extension, Stargell's swings seemed designed to hit home runs of the Ruthian variety. When most batters would use a simple lead-weighted bat in the on-deck circle, Stargell took to warming up with a sledgehammer, adding another layer of intimidation. While standing in the batter's box, he would windmill his bat until the pitcher started his windup.

 

Stargell hit the first home run at Shea Stadium in the first game played in that stadium on April 17, 1964.

 

Only four home runs have ever been hit out of Dodger Stadium, and Stargell hit two of them. The first came on August 6, 1969 off Alan Foster and measured 507 feet—to date, the longest home run ever hit at Dodger Stadium. The second, on May 8, 1973 against Andy Messersmith, measured 470 feet. Dodger starter Don Sutton said of Stargell, "I never saw anything like it. He doesn't just hit pitchers, he takes away their dignity."

 

On June 25, 1971, Stargell hit the longest home run in Veterans Stadium history during a 14-4 Pirates win over the Philadelphia Phillies.[1] The spot where the ball landed (the shot came in the second inning and chased starting pitcher Jim Bunning) was eventually marked with a yellow star with a black "S" inside a white circle until Stargell's 2001 death, when the white circle was painted black.[2] The star remained in place until the stadium's 2004 demolition.

 

In 1973 Stargell achieved the rare feat of simultaneously leading the league in both doubles and homers. Stargell had more than 40 of each; he was the first player to chalk up this 40-40 accomplishment since Hank Greenberg in 1940; other players have done so since (notably Albert Belle, the only 50-50 player).

 

In 1978, against Wayne Twitchell of the Montreal Expos, Stargell hit the only fair ball ever to reach the upper deck of Olympic Stadium. The seat where the ball landed (the home run was measured at 535 feet) has since been painted in yellow, while the other seats in the upper deck are red.

 

Bob Prince, the colorful longtime Pirate radio announcer would greet a Stargell home run with the phrase "Chicken on the Hill". This referred to Stargell's ownership of a chicken restaurant in Pittsburgh's Hill District. For a time, whenever he homered, Stargell's restaurant would give away free chicken to all patrons present in the restaurant at the time of the home run, in a promotion dubbed "Chicken on the Hill with Will".

 

Stargell also originated the practice of giving his teammates "stars" for their caps. Upon a good play or game, Stargell would give fellow players an embroidered star to place on their caps, which at the time were old-fashioned pillbox caps. These stars became known as "Stargell Stars". The practice began during the turbulent 1978 season, when the Pirates came from fourth place and 11.5 games behind in mid-August, to challenge the first-place Philadelphia Phillies for the division title. As fate would have it, the season was scheduled to end in a dramatic, four-game showdown against the Phillies in Pittsburgh, in which the Pirates had to win all four games to claim the title. Following a Pirate sweep of the Friday-night double-header, Stargell belted a grand slam in the bottom of the first inning of the season's ultimate game to give the Pirates an early 4-1 lead, although the Pirates would relinquish that lead later in the game and fall two runs short after a four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning,[3] thus eliminating themselves from contention for the pennant. Stargell called that 1978 team his favorite team ever, and predicted that the Pirates would win the World Series the following year.

 

And the Pirates did just that in 1979, in a fashion similar to the way they had ended the 1978 season: from last place in the NL East at the end of April, the Pirates clawed their way into a first place battle with the Montreal Expos during the latter half of the season, exciting fans with numerous come-from-behind victories along the way (many during their final at-bat) to claim the division pennant on the last day of the season. And Stargell led all the way. At his urging as captain, the team adopted the Sister Sledge hit song "We Are Family" as the team anthem. Then his play on the field inspired his teammates and earned him the MVP awards in both the NLCS and the World Series. Stargell capped off the year by hitting a dramatic home run in Baltimore during the late innings of a close Game 7 to seal a Pirates championship. The home run, coincidentally, credited Stargell with the winning runs in both Game 7's of the two post-season meetings between the Pirates and the Orioles (1971 and 1979). The 1979 World Series victory also made the Pirates the only franchise in baseball history to twice recover from a three-games-to-one deficit and win a World Series (previously they had done so in 1925 against the Washington Senators).

 

In addition to his NLCS and World Series MVP awards, Stargell was named the co-MVP of the 1979 season (along with St. Louis' Keith Hernandez). Stargell is the only player to have won all three trophies in a single year. He shared the Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsmen of the Year" award with NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who also played at Three Rivers Stadium, for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

Pirates manager Chuck Tanner said of Stargell, "Having him on your ball club is like having a diamond ring on your finger." Teammate Al Oliver once said, "If he asked us to jump off the Fort Pitt Bridge, we would ask him what kind of dive he wanted. That's how much respect we have for the man."

 

Legacy, post-retirement and death

95px-Pirates_Willie_Stargell.pngWillie Stargell's number 8 was retired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1982.

Observers believe Stargell's career total of 475 home runs was depressed by playing in Forbes Field, whose deep left-center field distance was 457 feet. Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente estimated, perhaps generously, that Stargell hit 400 fly balls to the warning track in left and center fields during his eight seasons in the park. In addition, the short fence in right field (300 feet to the foul pole) was guarded by a screen more than 20 feet high which ran from the right-field line to the 375-foot mark in right center. Three Rivers Stadium, a neutral hitter's park, boosted Stargell's power numbers. The Pirates moved into Three Rivers in mid-1970, and he hit 310 of his 475 career home runs from 1970 until his retirement, despite turning 30 in 1970. In his first full season in the Pirates' new stadium, 1971, Stargell led the league with 48 home runs. He won one other home run title in 1973, a year in which he hit 44 home runs, drove in 119 runs and had a .646 slugging percentage.

 

After retirement, Stargell spent several years as a coach for the Atlanta Braves. While working for the Braves, he heavily influenced a young Chipper Jones. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988, his first year of eligibility. In 1999, he ranked 81st on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was also nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Stargell was the last person to throw out the first pitch at Three Rivers Stadium.

 

His autograph suggests that he preferred "Wilver" to "Willie," and Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully typically called him "Wilver Stargell."

In the 1985 trial of alleged cocaine dealer Curtis Strong, Stargell was accused by Dale Berra (Yogi's son) and John Milner (both former Pirates teammates) of distributing "greenies" (amphetamines) to players. Stargell strongly denied these charges.

 

After years of suffering from a kidney disorder, he died of complications related to a stroke in Wilmington, North Carolina, on April 9, 2001; on that same day (coincidentally, the first game at the Pirates' new stadium, PNC Park), a larger-than-life statue of him was unveiled as part of the opening-day ceremonies.

 

Stargell's own quotations

  • "The (umpire) says 'play' ball, not 'work' ball."
  • "Trying to hit Sandy Koufax was like trying to drink coffee with a fork."[5]
  • "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox."
  • "They give you a round bat and they throw you a round ball and they tell you to hit it square." (Ted Williams and Pete Rose have also been credited with similar versions of this quote.)
  • "Now I know why they boo Richie—Dick Allen—all the time. When he hits a home run, there's no souvenir." (Allen, also well known for mammoth home runs and not very beloved by Philadelphia Phillies fans, had hit a ball over the left-center field roof of Philadelphia's Connie Mack Stadium.)
  • (After winning a game in 1979 against the Cincinnati Reds with a pinch RBI single after a disputed check-swing call) "Maybe it was this black bat I used. Or this black shirt or my black arms that made the Reds think they saw something."
  • "Now when they walk down the street, the people of Pittsburgh can say that we come from a city that has nothing but champions!" (Stargell during the celebratory parade in the city after the 1979 World Series, that year Pittsburgh won both their third Super Bowl and second World Series of the seventies. This quote is attributed to the creation of one of Pittsburgh's nicknames: "The City Of Champions")

Highlights

 

 

  • Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (1988)
  • National League Co-MVP (shared with Keith Hernandez, 1979)
  • 7-time Top 10 MVP (1971–75, 1978–79)
  • 7-time All-Star (1964–66, 1971–73, 1978)
  • National League Championship Series MVP (1979)
  • World Series MVP (1979)
  • ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year (1979)
  • Led National League in Slugging Percentage (1973)
  • Twice led National League in OPS (1973–74)
  • Led National League in Doubles (1973)
  • Twice led National League in Home Runs (1971 and 1973)
  • Led National League in RBI (1973)
  • Twice led National League in Extra-Base Hits (1971 and 1973)
  • Hit for the cycle (1964)
  • Threw the last pitch at Three Rivers Stadium, as part of the park's farewell ceremony (2000)

 

 

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Roberto Clemente Walker (August 18, 1934 December 31, 1972) was a Puerto Rican Major League Baseball right fielder. He was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the youngest of seven children. On November 14, 1964, he married Vera Zabala at San Fernando Church in Carolina. The couple had three children: Roberto Jr., Luis Roberto and Enrique Roberto. He began his professional career playing with the Santurce Crabbers in the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League (LBPPR). While he was playing in Puerto Rico, the Brooklyn Dodgers offered him a contract to play with the Montreal Royals. Clemente accepted the offer and was active with the team until the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired him in the Major League Baseball Rule 5 Draft of 1954.

 

Clemente would then play his entire 18-year baseball career with the Pirates (1955-72). He was awarded the National League's Most Valuable Player Award in 1966. During the course of his career, Clemente was selected to participate in the league's All Star Game on twelve occasions. He won twelve Gold Glove Awards and led the league in batting average in four different seasons. He was also involved in humanitarian work in Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries, often delivering baseball equipment and food to them.

 

He died in an aviation accident on December 31, 1972, while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. His body was never recovered. He was elected to the Hall of Fame posthumously in 1973, thus becoming the first Latin American to be selected and the only current Hall of Famer for whom the mandatory five year waiting period has been waived since the wait was instituted in 1954. Clemente is also the first Hispanic player to win a World Series as a starter (1960), win a league MVP award (1966) and win a World Series MVP award (1971).

 

Baseball career

Clemente's professional career began when Pedrín Zorilla offered him a contract with the Santurce Crabbers of the LBBPR. He was a bench player during his first campaign, but was promoted to the team's starting lineup the following season. During this season he hit .288 as the team's leadoff hitter. While Clemente was playing in the LBBPR, the Brooklyn Dodgers offered him a contract with the team's Triple-A subsidiary. He then moved to Montreal to play with the Montreal Royals. The climate and language differences affected Clemente early on, but he received the assistance of his teammate Joe Black, who was able to speak Spanish. In 1954, Clyde Sukeforth, a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates, noticed that Clemente was being used as a bench player for the team and discussed the possibility of drafting Clemente to the Pirates with the team's manager, Max Macon. The Pirates selected Clemente as the first selection of the rookie draft that took place on November 22, 1954.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

Clemente debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 17, 1955 in the first game of a double header against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  At the beginning of his time with the Pirates, he experienced frustration because of racial tension between himself, the local media, and even some of his teammates. Clemente responded to this by stating, "I don't believe in color".  He noted that, during his upbringing, he was taught to never discriminate against someone based on ethnicity.

 

During the middle of the season, Clemente was involved in a car accident; this caused him to miss several games with an injury in his lower back.He finished his rookie season with an average of .255, despite confronting trouble hitting certain types of pitches. His defensive skills, however, were highlighted during this season.

 

During the off season, Clemente played with the Santurce Crabbers in the Puerto Rican baseball winter league, where he was already considered a star.

 

The 1960s

The Pirates experienced several difficult seasons through the 1950s, although they did manage their first winning season since 1948 in 1959. During the winter season of 1958-59, Clemente didn't play winter baseball in Puerto Rico; instead, he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He spent six months in his military commitment at Parris Island, South Carolina, and Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. At Parris Island, Clemente received his basic training with Platoon 346 of the 3rd Recruit Battalion. In Camp Lejeune, he served as an infantryman. The rigorous training program helped Clemente physically; he added strength by gaining ten pounds and said his back troubles had disappeared.

220px-RobertoClementeStatueatPNCPark.jpg Statue of Clemente in Pittsburgh.

He remained in the reserves until September 1964. Early in the 1960 season, Clemente led the league, batting an average of .353 and scoring Runs Batted In (RBIs) in twenty-five out of twenty-seven games. Roberto's batting average stayed above the .300 mark throughout the course of the campaign. In August, he was inactive for five games as a result of an injury on his chin; he received this injury when his head impacted a concrete wall while he was trying to catch a hard line hit that reached the park's outer wall. Following this accident, he was transported to a local hospital, where the doctors stitched his chin; this prohibited him from playing until the injury was healed.The Pirates compiled a 95-59 record during the regular season, winning the National League pennant, and defeated the New York Yankees in a seven-game World Series. Clemente batted .310 in the series, hitting safely at least once in every game His .314 batting average, 16 home runs, and defense during the course of the season earned him his first participation in the All-Star game, where he served as a reserve player.

 

During 1961 spring training, Clemente tried to modify his batting technique by using a heavier bat in order to slow the speed of his swing, following advice from Pirates' batting coach George Sisler.During the 1961 season, Clemente was selected as the starting right fielder for the National League in the All-Star game. In this game, he batted a triple on his first at-bat and scored the team's first run. With the American League ahead 4-3 in the tenth inning, Clemente hit a double that gave the National League a decisive 5-4 win.

 

Following the season, he traveled to Puerto Rico along with Orlando Cepeda, who was a native of Ponce. When both players arrived, they were received by 18,000 people. On November 14, 1964, Clemente married Vera Zabula. The ceremony took place in the church of San Fernando in Carolina and was attended by thousands of fanatics. During this time, he was also involved in managing the Senadores de San Juan in the LBPPR, as well as playing with the team during the Major League offseason. During the course of the winter league, Clemente was injured and only participated as a pinch hitter in the league's All-Star game. He experienced a complication on his injury during the course of this game and underwent surgery shortly after being carried off of the playing field.

 

This condition limited his role with the Pirates in the first half of the 1965 season, during which he batted an average of .257. He was inactive for several games during this stage of the campaign before being fully active; when he returned to the starting lineup, he hit in thirty-three out of thirty-four games and his average improved to .340. Roberto and Vera had their first son on August 17, 1965, when Roberto Clemente, Jr. was born; he was the first of three children, along with Luis Roberto and Enrique Roberto. During the 1960s, he batted over .300 in every year except 1968, when he hit .291.He was selected to every All-Star game, and he was given a Gold Glove every season from 1961 onwards. He led the National League in batting average four times (1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967), led the National League in hits twice (1964 and 1967), and won the Most Valuable Player award in the 1966 season, when he hit .317 while setting career highs in home runs (29) and RBI (119). In 1967, he registered a career high .357 average and hit twenty-three home runs and 110 runs batted in.The 1970 season was the last one that the Pittsburgh Pirates played in Forbes Field before moving to Three Rivers Stadium; for Clemente, abandoning this stadium was an emotional situation. The Pirates' final game at Forbes Field took place on June 28, 1970. That day, Clemente noted that it was hard to play in a different field, saying, "I spent half my life there".The night of July 4, 1970 was declared "Roberto Clemente Night"; on this day, several Puerto Rican fans traveled to Three Rivers Stadium and cheered Clemente while wearing traditional Puerto Rican indumentary. A ceremony to honor Clemente took place, during which he received a scroll with 300,000 signatures compiled in Puerto Rico, and several thousands of dollars were donated to charity work following Clemente's request.

 

During the 1970 campaign, Clemente compiled an average of .352; the Pirates won the National League East pennant but were subsequently eliminated by the Cincinnati Reds. In the offseason, Clemente experienced some tense situations while he was working as manager of the Senators and when his father, Melchor Clemente, experienced medical problems and was subjected to a surgery.

In the 1971 season, the Pirates won the National League pennant and faced the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Baltimore had won 100 games and swept the American League Championship Series, both for the third consecutive year, and were the defending World Series champions. The Orioles won the first two games in the series, but Pittsburgh won the championship in seven games. This marked the second occasion that Clemente had won a World Series with the Pirates. Over the course of the series, Clemente batted a .414 average , performed well defensively, and hit a solo home run in the deciding 2-1 seventh game victory. Following the conclusion of the season, he received the World Series Most Valuable Player award. Struggling with injuries, Clemente only managed to appear in 102 games in 1972, but he still hit .312 for his final .300 season. On September 30, in a game at Three Rivers Stadium, he hit a double off Jon Matlack of the New York Mets for his 3,000th hit. It was the last at-bat of his career during a regular season, though he did play in the 1972 NLCS playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds In the playoffs, he batted .235 as he went 4 for 17. His last game ever was at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium in the fifth game of the playoff series.

 

Death in airplane accident

Clemente spent much of his time during the off-season involved in charity work. When Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, was affected by a massive earthquake on December 23, 1972, Clemente (who had been visiting Managua three weeks before the quake) immediately set to work arranging emergency relief flights. He soon learned, however, that the aid packages on the first three flights had been diverted by corrupt officials of the Somoza government, never reaching victims of the quake.

 

Clemente decided to accompany the fourth relief flight, hoping that his presence would ensure that the aid would be delivered to the survivors.The airplane he chartered for a New Year's Eve flight, a Douglas DC-7, had a history of mechanical problems and sub-par flight personnel, and it was overloaded by 5,000 pounds. It crashed into the ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico immediately after takeoff on December 31, 1972.A few days after the crash, the body of the pilot and part of the fuselage of the plane were found. An empty flight case apparently belonging to Clemente was the only personal item recovered from the plane. Clemente's teammate and close friend Manny Sanguillen was the only member of the Pirates not to attend Roberto's memorial service. The catcher chose instead to dive into the waters where Clemente's plane had crashed in an effort to find his teammate. Clemente's body was never recovered.At the time of his death, Clemente had established several records within the Pittsburgh Pirates, including possessing the record for hitting the most triples in a single game with three and the record for most hits in two consecutive games with ten, as well as achieving other accomplishments that were unparalleled at the moment. These include tying the record for most Gold Glove Awards won among outfielders with twelve, which he shares with Willie Mays. He also became the only player to have ever hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam He accomplished this historic baseball-event on July 25, 1956 in a 9-8 Pittsburgh win against the Chicago Cubs, at Forbes Field. In addition, he was one of four players to have ten or more Gold Gloves and a lifetime batting average of over .300.

 

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Three of the greatest who ever played Clemente, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

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And since i mentioned bob prince i wanted to add this as well.For those who may have never heard bob announce u really missed some quite colorful words known as gunnerisms lolol

 

Robert Ferris Prince (July 1, 1916 - June 10, 1985) was an American radio and television sportscaster and commentator best known for his 28-year stint as the voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League Baseball club, with whom he earned the nickname "The Gunner" and became a cultural icon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

Prince was one of the most distinct, colorful and popular voices in sports broadcast history, known for his gravel voice, unabashed style and clever nicknames and phrases, which came to be known as "Gunnerisms." His unique manner influenced a number of broadcasters after him, a list that includes Pittsburgh Penguins voice Mike Lange and Pittsburgh Steelers color analyst Myron Cope among others.

Prince called Pirates games from 1948 to 1975, including the World Series championship years of 1960 and 1971. Nationally, Prince broadcast the 1960, 1966, and 1971 World Series and the 1965 All-Star Game for NBC. He also broadcast at different times for other Pittsburgh-area sports teams, including Steelers football and Penguins hockey.

 

"The Green Weenie"

 

In 1966, Prince popularized a good-luck charm known as the Green Weenie, a plastic rattle in the shape of an oversized green pickle that Pirates fans used to jinx opponents. "Never underestimate the power of the Green Weenie," he liked to assure listeners. At the height of the term's popularity in 1966, Prince often punctuated the last out of a Bucs' victory by exclaiming, "The Great Green Weenie has done it again!" The pin's shape and color is derived from the pickle shaped pins distributed to schoolchildren when they toured the H._J._Heinz_Company factory in Pittsburgh. By late season, with the Pirates in a terrific pennant race with the Dodgers and Giants, some fans would parade a giant replica of the Green Weenie through the grandstand as a rally symbol. The hex symbol had started in the dugout with trainer Danny Whelan. Prince picked up on it and began talking about it on the broadcasts. No one thought to trademark the Green Weenie, so tens of thousands were sold in 1966, but Prince, Whelan and the Pirates didn't profit from it.

 

Prince used dozens of pet words and phrases that were often imitated but never duplicated in his profession. Here are some:

  • "A bloop and a blast": A base hit and a home run, usually late in the game when the Bucs were down by a run.
  • "There's a bug loose on the rug" or just "A bug on a rug": A ground ball that scooted between all the fielders on the defensive team, often skipping/rolling all the way to the outfield wall. Also possibly refers to the artificial turf as a "rug".
  • "A dying quail": A bloop base hit, more commonly known as a "Texas Leaguer."
  • "Can o' corn" or "A No. 8 can of Golden Bantam": A routine fly ball or popup which came straight down, from old-time grocery stores in which canned goods (including corn) were on a very high shelf and a stick was used to pull them off the shelf ... and be neatly caught by the clerk. Golden Bantam was a popular brand of corn.
  • "Foul by a gnat's eyelash" and "Close as fuzz on a tick's ear": The difference between a ball being fair or foul or a player being safe or out.
  • "Frozen rope": A hard line drive, often hit by Roberto Clemente.
  • "Hidden vigorish": A call for help for the Pirates or for an individual player, as in, "He just needs a little hidden vigorish." (Vigorish, from a Yiddish slang term, is the somewhat hidden profit that bookmakers get for a bet, regardless of who wins or loses.)
  • "Low hummin' riser": A fastball.
  • "Rug-cuttin' time" and "For all the money, marbles, and chalk": The deciding moment; crunch time.
  • "Runnin' through the raindrops": Escaping without serious damage, as when a Pirate pitcher gives up several hits and/or walks in an inning but the other team did not score.
  • "He couldn't hit that with a bed slat": After a batter chased a pitch way outside.
  • "A little bingle": A little hit (single); a way to get on base and start a rally.
  • "Aspirin tablets": Fastballs so quick they seem that small.
  • "Atem balls": A pun describing hard batted balls that went right to a fielder—right "at 'em." When this happened a few times in a game, Prince would say that a Pirate pitcher "has his atem ball workin' tonight."
  • "Babushka power": Prince would call on the power of the headscarves that women fans wore. At Prince's urging, the women sometimes would take off their scarves and wave them; Steelers announcer Myron Cope later adapted the idea into the "Terrible Towel." that Steeler fans still wave.
  • "Arriba!": Spanish for above or aloft, used by Prince in reverential reference to Clemente and his astonishing skills. Fans adopted the word as Clemente's nickname. Prince was fluent in Spanish and helped mentor and translate for Hispanic players, including Clemente, a Puerto Rican who spoke English with a heavy accent.
  • "How sweet it is!": Exclaimed whenever the result was sweet for the Pirates. The phrase apparently was also used by Rosey Rosewell, longtime Pirate announcer who Prince joined at the beginning of his career. It is originally attributed to entertainer Jackie Gleason.
  • "Good night, Mary Edgerly, wherever you are": His trademark farewell, although he never explained on-air who she was. Prince admitted the phrase was a variation of comedian Jimmy Durante's nightly good-bye to an unseen Mrs. Calabash on his television show. Mary Frances Smith Edgerly was, indeed, a real person, a dear friend of Bob and Betty Prince who resided at the Blue Waters Beach Club in St. Petersburg, Florida. "Mayme" was a lifelong baseball fan and used to spend hours in the stands during spring training watching her beloved Pirates. She was a lively and interesting lady who died at the age of 105, two weeks after attending an Old-Timers' game in Buffalo, New York. Clemente also loved Mary and gave her one of his record-setting bats.
  • "Hoover": A double play in which the Pirates would "vacuum" runners from the bases, which happened often, as second baseman Bill Mazeroski holds the all-time record for double plays. Once criticized for "promoting" a vacuum cleaner company that was not a sponsor, Prince—who did not like anyone challenging his sayings—invented the explanation that he was referring to the tax relief policies of former President Herbert Hoover.
  • "Pull out the plug, mother!": When the other team's rally went down the drain, often due to an inning-ending double play.
  • "Kiss it good-bye!" or "You can kiss it good-bye!" or "You can kiss this baby good-bye!": legendary home run call and current broadcast standard.
  • "Radio ball": A fastball thrown so hard it "could be heard but not seen."
  • "Soup cooler": A pitch delivered high and inside, so termed because it was up around the lips (which blow on soup to cool it).
  • "Spread some chicken on the Hill with Will" or just "Chicken on the Hill": After a home run hit by Pirates slugger Willie Stargell who owned a fried chicken establishment in the Hill District of Pittsburgh and offered free chicken to any customer who was in line when Stargell homered.
  • "Sufferin' catfish": Words of frustration after the baseball gods conspired against his team. A fairly common southern term.
  • "The alabaster plaster": The rock-hard infield surface at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field. An "alabaster blast" was the basehit that came off the hard infield, more commonly known as a "Baltimore chop".
  • "The House of Thrills": Forbes Field itself.
  • "The bases are F.O.B.": The bases are loaded ("Full of Bucs," probably borrowed from Red Barber's "Full of Brooklyns").
  • "'Tweener": a hit to the left or right field gap and thus between the fielders.
  • "We had 'em alllll the way" or "The Buccos had 'em alllll the way": A way to say that the Pirates never trailed in a game. Also used humorously and ironically after the Pirates scored an improbable, come-from-behind victory.
  • "Call a doctor, it's outta here": when an opposing player hit a home run off a Pirate pit

 

 

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Hugo Bezdek

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Again you ask, who??? Hugo Bezdek was the only man ever to manage a baseball team in the Major Leagues and coach in the National Football League. Interestingly enough, he never played Major League ball or played in the NFL.

Bezdek managed the Pittsburgh Pirates in mid 1917 for the last 91 games of the season. He inherited a last place team and that's where they ended up when the season finished. But in the next two years as Pirates manager, he lead the team to two fourth place finishes.

After leaving Pittsburgh after the 1919 season, he returned to football as head coach at Penn State and took Penn to the Rose Bowl in 1924. In 1937, the Cleveland Rams, who would later become the Los Angeles Rams and then St. Louis Rams, hired Bezdek as their coach for their very first year in the NFL. The Rams went 1-10 under Bezdek in 1937 and when the team started out 1-3 in 1938, Bezdek resigned.

Bezdek was president of the National Association of Football Coaches in 1948 and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. His lifetime college record was 127–58–16.

Bezdek was born in Prague, Austria-Hungary in 1884 and died in 1952.

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  • 2 years later...

May as well try to contribute to this thread again. For newer users this was a thread where you would post a mini-biography of any player and basically present it any way you'd like to. This thread right here shows you all the players that have already been detailed in this thread.

 

I'll resume this with one of the best hitters from the 70's and early 80's.

 

Rod Carew

 

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Rod Carew played from 1967 to 1985 for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels and was elected to the All-Star game every season except his last. In 1991, Carew was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. While Carew was never a home run threat (only 92 of his 3,053 hits were home runs), he made a career out of being a consistent contact hitter. He threw right handed and batted left handed.

 

Carew won the American League's Rookie of the Year award in 1967 and was elected to the first of 18 consecutive All-Star game appearances. Carew stole home seven times in the 1969 season to lead the major, just missing Ty Cobb's Major League record of eight and the most in the major leagues since Pete Reiser stole seven for the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1946. Carew's career total of 17 steals of home currently puts him tied for 17th on the list with former New York Giant MVP Larry Doyle and fellow Hall of Famer Eddie Collins. In 1972, Carew led the American League in batting, hitting 3.18 and remarkably, without hitting a single home run for the only time in his career. Carew is to date the only player in the American League or in the modern era to win the batting title with no home runs. In 1975 Carew joined Ty Cobb as the only players to lead both the American and National Leagues in batting average for three consecutive seasons. In the 1977 season, Carew batted .388, which was the highest since Boston's Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941, and won the American League's Most Valuable Player.

 

Carew was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, his first year of eligibility, the 22nd player so elected. In 1999 he ranked #61 on The Sporting News' list of 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for Major League Baseball's All-Century Team.


Voted into the Hall of Fame (1991). He was also named the Roberto Clemente Award winner (1977) by Major League Baseball as the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement. He was only the third person to have his uniform (#29) retired by two teams.

Edited by Yankee4Life
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Babe Herman

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Babe Herman was born on Friday, June 26, 1903, in Buffalo, New York. Herman was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 14, 1926, with the Brooklyn Robins.

 

When Babe Herman died in 1987 one headline said "Daffiest of the Dodgers." But Babe Herman, the daffiest Dodger, wasn't daffy at all. When he died the newspaper obits recalled his legendary exploits. The time at Ebbets Field a fly ball bounced off Babe's head and over the fence for a ground-rule double. The time he doubled into a double play.

 

Babe never took issue with the sportswriters who etched the semi-fiction into stone with their typewriters.

 

That fly ball never bounced off his head. It bounced off the head of teammate Al Tyson, who replaced Babe a few innings earlier. The official scorer failed to notice the substitution. True, a fly ball lost in the sun once bounced off Babe's shoulder, but as he explained at the time, "Shoulders don't count."

 

He did double into a double play, but only because a teammate fell asleep between second and third and got passed by a hustling Babe.

The cigar story is absolutely true. Babe was chomping on the cigar. Called to the phone, he stuffed the cigar into the breast pocket of his suit. After hanging up, he fished out the stogie and, without a match, puffed it back to life. Seems there was a spark smoldering in the ash of the seemingly-dead cigar. But that's not so much daffiness as a simple case of a man knowing his cigar.

 

The funny stories almost make you forget that the Babe turned himself into an outstanding outfielder for the Dodgers, and that he could hit a baseball.

 

Rogers Hornsby said Herman hit the ball harder than anyone. Al Lopez once said, "Babe swung a bat with more ease and grace than any man I ever saw."

 

He was tall, 6-4, and a rangy player, but unlike the other Babe, Herman's swing wasn't an awesome power sweep. It was a rapier-like slash. Ty Cobb taught Herman to aim for the pitcher's forehead and let the hits fall where they may. One season, 1930, 241 of them fell.

"People think Herman was a stupid clown when he was at the height of his career," Charlie Dressen once said. "I know different, because I played with him and also managed him. Let me tell you, Herman was a good outfielder. He could hit and throw. He was nobody's fool."

Herman retired in 1945 with a career batting average of .324 with 181 home runs and 997 RBI.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ken Harrelson

 

Ken Harrelson played for four teams: the Kansas City Athletics (1963-66, 1967), Washington Senators (1966-67), Boston Red Sox (1967-69), and Cleveland Indians (1969-71). In his nine-season career, Harrelson was a .239 hitter with 131 home runs and 421 RBI in 900 games.

His time with the Athletics ended abruptly in 1967 when Harrelson angrily denounced team owner Charlie Finley following the dismissal of manager Alvin Dark. Saying that Finley was "a menace to baseball", Harrelson was released and ended up signing a lucrative deal with the Boston Red Sox, who were in contention to win their first pennant since 1946.

Brought in to replace the injured Tony Conigliaro, Harrelson helped the team win the pennant, but watched the team drop the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. However, in 1968, he had his finest season, making the American League All-Star team and leading the American League in runs batted in with 109. He also finished third in the American League Most Valuable Player balloting, with two Detroit Tigers finishing ahead of him -- pitcher Denny McLain won the award and catcher Bill Freehan finished second.

He began his broadcasting career in 1975 with the Boston Red Sox on WSBK-TV, partnering with Dick Stockton. He became highly popular, especially after being teamed with veteran play-by-play man Ned Martin in 1979, but after being publicly critical of player personnel decisions made by Boston co-owner Haywood Sullivan, Harrelson was fired at the close of the 1981 season.

Harrelson served as a Chicago White Sox announcer from 1982 to 1985 and briefly left broadcasting during the 1986 season to become the White Sox's General Manager. During his one season as GM, Harrelson fired field manager Tony La Russa (who was soon hired by the Oakland Athletics) and assistant general manager Dave Dombrowski (who became baseball's youngest general manager with the Montreal Expos just two years later). Harrelson also traded rookie Bobby Bonilla, later a six-time All-Star, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher José DeLeón.

Since 1990, he has served as the main play-by-play announcer for the White Sox television broadcasts. During this time he won five Emmy Awards and two Illinois Sportscaster of the Year awards.



 

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  • 1 month later...

JIM CREIGHTON

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Jim was probably Baseballs first real star player and made his pitching debut with the Brooklyn Niagras at age 19, in 1859. He then changed clubs in 1860 to the "Excelsior Club" for "under the table inducements", making him most likely the first paid player in history, and not Al Reach.

 

At the time Jim played, the ball had to be pitched stiff armed, and under hand. Its noted that he was one of the first to bend that rule by adding a almost undetectable snap to his wrist in the motion, thus speeding his pitches dramatically compared to how it was done by others. He would also throw without the snap mixing his speeds exactly how good MLB pitchers do today. During this era of baseball, it was the pitchers job to help the hitter strike the ball, not hinder him,thus letting fielding decide the fate of the game, many many players and clubs initially detested Creightons style of hurling, and on November 8th of 1860, Creighton recorded baseballs first shutout.

 

It could also be said that Creighton was a phenom at the plate as well, and as far as recorded history can tell, he was retired at the bat only 4 times in the 1862 season. (yes while the American Civil War raged)

 

On October 18th 1862, at the age of 21,Creighton hit a home run, and on deck hitter John Chapman reports hearing an unusual snap during Creighton's swing. Jim assures Chapman it was his belt snapping, however, Creighton would die 4 days later of internal bleeding, having ruptured his spleen or bladder.

 

Creightons approach to the game, his pitching style would forever change the way the game was played, turning it from a struggle between hitters/runners against fielders into the intense duels between batters and pitchers we know today.

RIP Jim Creighton, more should know your name.

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Thank you redeck for your contribution to this thread. As you said, more people should know James Creighton's name. This guy was one of the very first stars the game ever had. And do you realize that when he got hurt and died days later the Civil War was still going on? Thanks for the history on him and I have updated his name in the players list that lists every player covered in this thread.

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Hank Aaron


 

American baseball icon Hank Aaron, nicknamed "Hammerin' Hank," is widely regarded as one of the greatest hitters in the history of the sport. For nearly 23 years (1954–76), Aaron played as an outfielder for the Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers, setting several records and winning a number of honors along the way.

 

Born Henry Louis Aaron on February 5, 1934, in a poor black section of Mobile, Alabama, called "Down The Bay," Hank Aaron was the third of eight children born to Estella and Herbert Aaron, who made a living as a tavern owner and a dry dock boilermaker's assistant.

Aaron developed a strong affinity for baseball and football at a young age, and tended to focus more heavily on sports than his studies. During his freshman and sophomore years, he attended Central High School, a segregated high school in Mobile, where he excelled at both football and baseball. On the baseball diamond, he played shortstop and third base. In his junior year, Aaron transferred to the Josephine Allen Institute, a neighboring private school that had an organized baseball program. Before the end of his first year at Allen, he had more than proved his abilities on the baseball field. Then, perhaps sensing that he had a bigger future ahead of him, in 1951, the 18-year-old Aaron quit school to play for the Negro Baseball League's Indianapolis Clowns.

 

After leading his club to victory in the league's 1952 World Series, in June 1952, Aaron was recruited by the Milwaukee Braves (formerly of Boston and later of Atlanta) for $10,000. The Braves assigned their new player to one of their farm clubs, The Eau Claire Bears. Again, Aaron did not disappoint, earning the esteemed title of "Northern League Rookie of the Year."

 

Hank Aaron made his Major League debut in 1954, at age 20, when a spring training injury to a Braves outfielder created a roster spot for him. Following a respectable first year (he hit .280), Aaron charged through the 1955 season with a blend of power (27 home runs), run production (106 runs batted in), and average (.328) that would come to define his long career. In 1956, after winning the first of two of his batting titles, Aaron registered an unrivaled 1957 season, taking home the National League MVP and nearly nabbing the Triple Crown by hitting 44 homeruns, knocking in another 132, and batting .322.

 

That same year, Aaron demonstrated his ability to come up big when it counted most. His 11th inning home run in late September propelled the Braves to the World Series, where he led underdog Milwaukee to an upset win over the New York Yankees in seven games.

Over the next decade and a half, the always-fit Aaron banged out a steady stream of 30 and 40 homerun seasons. In 1973, at the age of 39, Aaron was still a force, clubbing a remarkable 40 homeruns to finish just one run behind Babe Ruth's all-time career mark of 714.

 

In 1974, after tying the Babe on Opening Day in Cincinnati, Aaron came home with his team. On April 15, he banged out his record 715th homerun at 9:07 p.m. in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a triumph and a relief. The more than 50,000 fans on hand cheered him on as he rounded the bases. There were fireworks and a band, and when he crossed home plate, Aaron's parents were there to greet him.

Overall, Aaron finished the 1974 season with 20 home runs. He played two more years, moving back to Milwaukee to finish out his career to play in the same city where he'd started.

After retiring as a player, Aaron moved into the Atlanta Braves front office as executive vice-president, where he has been a leading spokesman for minority hiring in baseball. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1982. His autobiography, I Had a Hammer, was published in 1990.



 

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  • 1 month later...

Wally Pipp

 

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Wally Pipp is the guy that lost his job to Lou Gehrig, who just happens to the greatest first baseman in baseball history. But Pipp was hardly a slouch on the field. And he was rarely off the field, missing just a handful of games over the previous four seasons before Gehrig took his job in 1925.

 

In fact, Pipp anchored Yankee pennant winners in 1921, 1922 and the championship 1923 team, which were the Yanks first. He was coming off a career year in 1924 when he hit .295 with nine home runs, 114 RBI and an American League-leading 19 triples.

 

As the story goes, that day Pipp told Yankee Manager Miller Huggins that he had a headache, and Huggins replaced him with Gehrig in the Yankee lineup. Lou Gehrig, who had pinch hit for Yankee shortstop Pee Wee Wanninger the previous day to start his famous consecutive games streak, didn’t sit down for nearly 15 years, 2,130 games later.

 

Pipp’s recollection of that day is somewhat hazy. Decades later, in a 1953 interview, he recounted that he did have a headache—because he had been beaned in batting practice.

 

That’s not exactly how it went down. In fact, Pipp was a pinch-hitter the very next day, June 3, after his supposed beaning. Although Pipp never started another game at first base for the Yankees, Gehrig didn’t exactly tear the league apart in 1925, and Huggins had pinch hit for a few times because the Yankees’ manager was disappointed in Gehrig’s performance against left-handers.

 

Pipp’s beaning took place exactly a month later—on July 2. According to various accounts he suffered a fractured skull or a concussion—certainly more than a headache. He played sparingly the rest of the season and was shipped to Cincinnati at the end of it.

 

Pipp had a solid career and was one of the best first basemen of his era. He led the American League in home runs with 12 in 1916 and nine in 1917. He hit .281 for this career, with 90 HRs, 997 RBI and 1,941 hits.

 

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Ted Kluszewski

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A highly popular player, Ted 'Big Klu' Kluszewski was a powerful, slugging first baseman. He was a symbol of raw strength and probably was one of the strongest men ever to play in the major leagues. Big Klu's arm were so huge that he cut of the sleeves of his uniform because they were restricting his ability to swing the bat. In 1950, Kluszewski hit 25 homers, drove in 111 runs and hit .307 for the Cincinnati Reds. He seemed to get bigger and stronger the longer he played. In 1953, he hit 40 home runs, had 108 RBI's, scored 97 runs and batted .316 and even with all this power, Klu struck out only 34 times.

 

In 1954, Ted Kluszewski led the National League with 49 home runs, 141 RBIs, .326 BA; and only struckout a total of 35 times. Again in 1955, Kluszewski powered 47 HR's, scored 116 runs, had 113 RBIs, and batted .314. Ted Kluszewski was still the Reds' strong boy and in 1956, he hit 35 HRs with 102 RBIs. His trade by the Reds to the Pittsburgh Pirates was met with boo's from his many loyal Red's fans. Playing for the White Sox, fans cheered for Big Klu in the 1959 World Series against the Dodgers, as Kluszewski hit two homers in the first game and ended with 10 RBI's for the whole series. The Dodgers won the series 4 games to 2. Ted Kluszewski had a .298 career batting average with 290 doubles and 279 home runs. Ted Kluszewski was a popular ball player during this era and even opposing fans cheered him on. In the 1970s and early 1980s he was a batting coach for Cincinnati.

 

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Mickey Cochrane

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Gordon Stanley "Mickey" Cochrane was one of baseball's greatest catchers. He compiled a .320 lifetime batting average over 13 seasons from 1925 to 1937, handled outstanding pitchers Lefty Grove and Schoolboy Rowe during their record-tying 16-game winning streaks, and in 1947 was the first catcher elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America to the Hall of Fame.

 

Cochrane wasn't just a great baseball player, though. He was a hero and role model to millions of people during the Great Depression of the 1930s when as player-manager of the Detroit Tigers he led the downtrodden Tigers to their first pennant in 25 years. The combination of Cochrane's fierce competitiveness on the field and his likable personality off the field, mixed with his successful rise from humble beginnings, helped Americans take their minds off the widespread unemployment during the Great Depression and encouraged them that they too could weather the economic times. Many parents named their children after Cochrane, including one Oklahoma family named Mantle.

 

Playing for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers, Cochrane led five teams to American League pennants during the seven-year span from 1929 through 1935, an era most fans remember as being dominated by Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees. Three of these five teams went on to win World Series titles. Cochrane was the catcher on Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics team that won three consecutive pennants from 1929 to 1931. It was as player-manager of the Detroit Tigers, however, that Cochrane achieved national fame and adulation, leading the Tigers to pennants in 1934 and 1935, and to Detroit's first World Series title in 1935.

 

Following the World Series victory in 1935, he suffered a breakdown in 1936 after being elevated to general manager in addition to his player-manager duties. On May 25, 1937, soon after his recovery from the breakdown, he was hit in the head by a pitch from Yankee pitcher Bump Hadley in those helmetless days and was nearly killed, ending his major league playing career. Cochrane came back as bench manager in 1938, but was ineffective outside his playing-field leadership and was fired on August 6, 1938. He was a great leader on the field, but cast as a "caged lion" bench manager, he never managed again in the major leagues.

 

While hitting just 119 home runs in his career, Cochrane had 64 triples, the most among Hall of Fame catchers that played in the 20th century. His ability to launch doubles and triples lands him just outside the game's top 100 in slugging percentage with his .478 average. Cochrane's lack of home run production over his career - which wasn't required because he batted in front of such sluggers as Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg - has somewhat unfairly diminished the luster of his contribution to the game.

 

Cochrane was selected as American League MVP twice, in 1928 and 1934, primarily on his leadership abilities rather than his statistical accomplishments. On the field, Cochrane had a certain inspiration that infected other players to do their best. Cochrane never played on a team that finished worse than third place.

 

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Preacher Roe

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Elwin Charles "Preacher" Roe pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1949, 1952, and 1953 World Series, each match up against the New York Yankees.
 
Though Roe never won a series ring, the left handed pitcher was a standout player in the National League throughout the 40s and early 50s during baseball’s heyday, playing alongside legendary Dodgers Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.
 
Roe’s career began in 1938 with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he pitched only one losing game before being shipped off to the team’s minor league for five seasons.
 
It wasn’t until 1944 that he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The next season, he racked up 148 strikeouts, the highest number in the National League.
 
But Roe’s real claim to fame was during his time with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1951, he led the team to the World Series with a pitching record of 22 wins and only 3 losses. This record led The Sporting News to name Roe “Pitcher of the Year.”
 
After the 1953 season, the Dodgers sold Roe to the Baltimore Orioles. But unable to keep up with the physical demands of the game late in his career, he retired from baseball in 1954.
 
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Terry Moore

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A popular and classy centerfielder with speed and a strong arm, Moore was considered among the league's best. Underrated because he was overshadowed by more colorful teammates, he was captain of two Cardinal World Championship teams (1942 and 1946).

As a rookie in 1935, he hit two doubles and two homers in one game, and a few weeks later went 6-for-6 in another. He was an All-Star from 1939 through 1942, a stretch during which he hit .295.

 

Moore put together a 20-game hitting streak in 1942 and entered the military that fall. He seemed to have lost his batting eye, but not his fielding flair, when he returned in 1946.

 

He was kept out of the lineup by an old knee injury. He had nine consecutive hits and rebounded for a .283 average in 1947. Retiring after 1948, he was a Cardinals coach in 1949-52, and again in 1956-58 after managing the Phillies for part of 1954.

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